Urban Farm Fermentory Purchased

Eli Cayer has sold Urban Farm Fermentory to Maine Standard Biofuels. According to the announcement the two companies will be moving to a 12-acre green industrial park that Maine Standard Biofuels is building in Windham. The site will include agricultural fields where herbs for UFF beverages will be grown and will the site will also house “incubator sites for like-minded start-ups”.

Both men started their companies with a passion for serving local customers with products that reflect their deep respect for the natural world. Kaltsas built a business that refines potential pollutants into clean-burning biofuels and cleaners. Cayer crafted fermented beverages that captured the authentic taste of wild Maine-grown ingredients. Years of shared ideas on practices that mimic nature’s efficiency eventually led to the pair’s decision for a sale that would plant the seed for a collaborative business model that sets new standards for triple-bottom-line sustainability.

Cayer founded Urban Farm Fermentory in 2010. The company produces a line of fermennted products that include ciders, kombuchas, beers, gruit, jun, mead and vinegars. They are currently located on Anderson Street in East Bayside.

Restaurants and Rents

Vine Pair has published an article on the impact media attention on the Portland food scene has had on the affordability of the area for people who work in the hospitality industry.

With the media craze came a shocking influx of out-of-state wealth, and landlords have seized the opportunity to capitalize on the choked marketplace. Prices easily paid by out-of-state visitors are unimaginable to the average Mainer. Expiring leases aren’t being offered for re-signing, and rents are increasing at insulting rates. Supply is shrinking as apartments are converted into short-term rentals and luxury condos. South Portland, Biddeford, Westbrook, and Falmouth — all historically affordable places to live with reasonable commutes to the city — have not been spared in the rental market assault.

Best of 2022 Awards

Portland Old Port has kicked off their Best of 2022 readership awards program. The readership-driven voting program is a three-step process.

Step 1 – now through June 30th you can nominate your favorite businesses in the dozens of categories which range from Best Ambience and Best Bagel to categories like Best Wings and Friendliest Staff.

Step 2 – the first round of voting will take place on all nominations from July 1st to July 14th.

Step 3 – the top voted entries from step 2 will be on the ballot for a final election from July 15th to July 31st.

Beard Awards Impact

This week’s Portland Phoenix checked in with some of Maine’s nominees to ask what impact being a Beard Awards nominee has had on their business.

Now, as we move forward in a world where COVID-19 isn’t gone and chefs, cooks, servers, and bartenders have endured through it and most likely changed their models and practices, do awards matter? I spoke with three local finalists about what the nominations meant to them and their restaurants.

Father’s Day Article, Student Cookbook

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a Fathers’ Day article about dads at three restaurants, and

For dads in the food service business, Father’s Day is mostly just another work day. But it’s also a time for fathers who run generational family restaurants to consider their family legacies, and remember vital life lessons they learned working for and with their own fathers. It’s a day that gives them a chance to appreciate how their own children helped them with the business, and to dream of the day when they can hand it down to the kids, just as their parents and grandparents did before them.

a report on a new cookbook created by culinary students at LearningWorks.

Seventeen of the students graduating from the LearningWorks YouthBuild program at the end of June have something rather unexpected to add to their resumes: cookbook author.

Beards Awards Update

Sadly, we don’t have any Maine Beard Awards wins to report on this morning, but with five nominees and 20+ chefs, bakes, staff and owners at the event Maine was very well represented at the awards. No doubt there will be more opportunity for Maine to shine in 2023.

In the meantime if you see any of the 2022 congratulate them on the recognition of excellence that already represents:

  • Best New Restaurant – Leeward
  • Outstanding Baker – Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery
  • Best Chef: Northeast – Vien Dobui, Công Tử Bột; Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food & Beverage; Damian Sansonetti, Chaval

See this article in the Press Herald for additional details on the awards.

Review of Judy Gibson & 4 New Food Books

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a review of Judy Gibson,

The first rule of Judy Gibson is that you must start telling absolutely everyone you know about Judy Gibson. Let friends know that chef/owner Chris Wilcox (Eventide, Velveteen Habit) isn’t serving his pandemic-legendary fried chicken anymore, and that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s making excellent use of an encyclopedic larder of house-preserved local ingredients, adding a portion of pickled blueberry stems to his extraordinary tuna crudo, dusting dried ramp powder on a rich beef tartare hash brown … you get the idea.

and an article about four new food books with connections to Maine.

With summer here and leisurely pursuits on the rise, it’s time for a fresh batch of cookbooks and food writing from Maine authors. Here, we’re taking a look at four recent publications that will suit readers with a range of interest in food, from aspiring mixologists to nostalgic eaters.

Food Truck Lottery

The City held their Eastern Prom food truck lottery today and per a report from the Press Herald four entrants representing five trucks were left out in the cold “Eighty 8 Donuts, Mr. Tuna, Maine Maple Creemee and two trucks, Cheese the Day and Ironclad Eats, that applied jointly to share one spot.”

Mr. Tuna owner Jordan Rubin is quoted saying that he’ll need to cut 6 to 10 positions from his staff as a result.

“This is really disappointing. There goes our business,” said Jordan Rubin, chef and owner of Mr. Tuna, a mobile sushi bar, following the drawing held on Zoom on Wednesday morning.

“That’s six to 10 people who don’t have jobs anymore because of this lottery,” Rubin said.

A representative from Mr. Tuna shared the loss of the Eastern Prom location will result in a $500,000 drop in revenue.

A protest is scheduled to take place at City Hall at 9 am on Thursday.

The 10 trucks that got spots are On A Roll, BOGS Bakery, Falafel Mafia, George’s North Shore, Gelato Fiasco, Vy Banh Mi, Tacos La Poblanita, Cargo Pizza Company, Twist and La Mega.